Almost a quarter of a century after an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, European countries remain deeply divided over the use of nuclear power. Some are embracing nuclear energy, while others are phasing out their old plants.
Polish government announced plans to build 2 nuclear power plants by 2020. Nuclear power is seen as a way of reducing Poland's reliance on Russian oil and gas, an issue which has grown in importance since Moscow cut off supplies to Ukraine earlier this year. Support for the nuclear option appears to be growing in Poland although many fears are justified. The major disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant proved the prophets wrong who underestimated the "residual risk" of nuclear energy. Experts once argued the risk of a nuclear accident was almost non-existent. But that was before Chernobyl. Even today the risk of another explosion remains.
23 years after the Chernobyl tragedy VII Mentor photographer Maciek Nabrdalik was exploring its Exclusion Zone and villages around it where echoes of the worst nuclear disaster in the history of man still resonate. Chernobyl area remains a forbidding, if not a forbidden area.
Abandoned villages, schools and hospitals are slowly being swallowed up by nature or eaten by decay. An emotional journey near the infamous nuclear power plant is also an attempt to face the fears of his childhood in Poland which was also contaminated after the explosion.